TRPC Broadcast Email – Thursday, March 19, 2020
In 1 Thessalonians 1:17-20 the Apostle Paul writes this:
“…brothers and sisters, when, for a short time, we were made orphans by being separated from you — in person, not in heart — we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face. For we wanted to come to you — certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again, but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? Yes, you are our glory and joy!”
As Paul consoled those in Thessalonica, we want to also maintain our sense of connection as a community. Our session has developed a shepherding system. Each of our nine current elders serving on the church session has been assigned a portion of the worshipping congregation of TRPC; whether worshipping in person or one of our homebound church. This program has been in place for some time now and is invaluable to the church, especially at times as these. They will be reaching out in the next few days to touch base with you. That Elder along with me will be a point of contact for you during our time of social distancing. If you have a need or know of someone in the community who has a need please let me or them know so that we can respond with the love and care of our faith community. I encourage you to be active in reaching out to one another and to think about our members that may not have anyone to reach out to them. Pick up the phone and give them a call.
I congratulate the session on the actions they took Monday night. As each day progresses it becomes clearer that the decision to “shepherd our church” by cancelling all church events was the loving and prudent thing to do.
Some of you may find all of this to sound like an overreaction, while others will be grateful for these decisions. But know that the session sought to make all of these plans for the coming days out of love – the love of Christ which compels us on. So, as we continue to operate together out of a spirit of love, rather than fear, it is helpful to remember that we belong is a God.
The Session also wants to encourage you to, if possible, stay current in your giving. Of course, we will need to pay our bills, as well as answer any needs that might arise due to the disruption of our normal lives caused by the virus. There are going to be many opportunities in the coming weeks for us to step from our stone church walls (at least financially) and work to help relieve the pain and suffering in our community. Simply mail a check to the church and mark the envelope “Attention Treasurer”. We will be checking the mail regularly and getting all offerings to the Treasurers for deposit.
For more information on the Covid-19 virus and how our churches in the presbytery are reacting; you can go to the Presbytery Website at: www.shenpres.org and click on the two “Covid-19” links at the top of the page.
For comfort and solace, I encourage everyone to take this time to open your Bibles and focus on a directed study. I will be sending out a few resources to help direct you in this goal to come closer to God by understanding his Word.
And finally: For some time now, I have subscribed to an internet service at calm.com. This website offers many opportunities for rest, centering oneself and a welcome alternative to sleepless nights. I recommend these tools, not in lieu of God’s Word (the Bible), but to help prepare you to hear God’s Word more clearly during this anxious time brought on by Covid-19. Calm.com has prepared resources with meditations, stories, music, talks and more, all hand-picked to support mental and emotional wellness; free of charge for all to use. This service can be accessed by clicking here: free resource page .
Now with the apostle Paul, who wrote to the Philippians (4:5-6),
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord,”
Together in Christ’s Service,
Rev. Patrick Lanaghan